M. S. Dhoni: The Untold Story is a biopic by Neeraj Pandey on M.S. Dhoni, one of the successful cricket captain which our country has seen. The film hits a smashing Sixer. Neeraj Pandey has a sure shot blockbuster in his kitty after his much critically acclaimed films A Wednesday, Special 26, and Baby. Neeraj Pandey has certainly made a very spectacular film on M. S. Dhoni’s life, right from his birth to India winning World Cup in 2011. As the punch line of the film in the official posters is mentioned, this is a film about ‘The man you know… the journey you don’t). In spite of its 190 minutes long duration, the film keeps one glued to the screen with its fast-paced 1st half. The second half does become a bit slow, but overall the film is well-paced. Every frame makes you feel wanting to get M. S. Dhoni’s journey to be unraveled on screen. The film does show almost all the major matches of M. S. Dhoni’s life, which were decisive in shaping his career. One of the beautiful aspect of the film is that technically the real footages of these matches are very well merged with Sushant’s shots. It appears as if, one is reliving all those moments of victories and pride once again through the film. Sushant Singh Rajput is incredibly convincing and excellent in his role as M. S. Dhoni. It is a film which will be loved by cricket lovers as well as cricket non-lovers.
The film begins with the footages of 2011 World Cup. The audience gets to see the back side of the captain Dhoni (Sushant Singh Rajput) watching the live match on TV monitor in the dressing room. While he watches a wicket fall, he decides to promote himself up in the batting order to bat next, wears his Number 7 jersy and walks into the field amidst huge cheering from the spectators in the stadium. Yes, it was the final match of the World Cup between India and Sri Lanka, where Dhoni finished the match in style with a sixer and led Indian team to win World Cup after a period of 28 years.
Dhoni’s story unfolds on screen, right from his birth in Ranchi. He used to love football as a child, especially as a goalkeeper and even when he was asked whether he would prefer to learn and play cricket, he shrugged the idea itself since he felt that what good sport it would be with small balls. His father Pan Singh Dhoni (Anupam Kher) is a pump operator, who as usual parents is very protective about his children’s studies. Dhoni has an elder sister Jayanti (Bhumika Chawla). His mother is a simple housewife, mostly plays the role of a mediator between children and husband.
Rajesh Sharma essays the role of KR Banerjee, who sees the talent in Dhoni, when he watches Dhoni goalkeeping. He does persuade Dhoni to be a wicketkeeper and try cricket. That is where Banerjee’s journey as a coach to master-striker Dhoni started. Although initially he gave Dhoni more opportunities to be a wicket keeper, later he recognizes Dhoni’s potential in striking the ball.
The film takes us through Dhoni’s journey from playing for clubs to his matches as part of Junior Cricket Team in Bihar, Bihar Cricket Team, Jharkhand Cricket Team to ultimately playing for India. Both his ODI and Test Career are also part of this film. His journey also included his job stint as Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kharagpur Railway Station.
The film also shares how his friends Santosh (Kranti Prakash Jha), Chittu (Alok Pandey), Sandip Nahar and Jitin Gulati are there as great pillars of support.
The second half of the film moves to Dhoni’s personal life, love, marriage. That is where, Disha Patani as Priyanka Jha and Kiara Advani as Sakshi enters the scene. Of course, the love story of Dhoni and Sakshi is known, but who is Priyanka, and how she is part of Dhoni’s untold story is to be seen.
There are many moments in the film, which would give you goosebumps, be it Dhoni’s smashing performances on-field, or his resilience off-field. He is shown to be very focused towards his sport and he also gets frustrated from within, but very much restrained in expressing the same, when he feels that he is neither able to do justice to his job nor to his sport. His mental strength at many occasions are shown in the film.
Small details about him is also shown in the film, be it his requesting mother to buy him Sachin Tendulkar’s poster, asking his friend Santosh not to drink and waste life, his humility in meeting an old colleague after getting the success, family and friends watching his matches etc.
Dhoni’s confidence reflects in one of his conversation with his school team’s captain Shabbir Hussain (Ashrut Jain). Dhoni, while walking to the field and looking at the score board with a huge target to achieve, asks Shabbir, whether he can do it if he gives him the strike. Shabbir says that he would try. Dhoni says: If it has to be tried, I might as well try it myself.
There are lot of moments in the film, which talks about Dhoni’s persistence, focus, drive, decisiveness etc.
Sushant Singh Rajput marvels in his role as M. S. Dhoni. He has done complete justice to the role. His mannerisms, his strokes, his attitude, his body language, trademark shots etc. clubbed with real footages would make you feel and believe that you are actually watching the real Dhoni on screen.
Anupam Kher is good as his father. Most of the parents would be able to relate with his character where the percentage in the report card matters more than anything else, and he was no different. But then, he also becomes a support system for Dhoni.
Bhumika as Dhoni’s sister is also good.
Four friends Kranti Prakash Jha, Alok Pandey, Sandip Nahar and Jitin Gulati would certainly win your hearts, as they extend unconditional support to Dhoni.
The film does have other actors viz. Kumud Mishra, Rajesh Sharma, Ashrut Jain, Herry Tangri and a few others who have also given very much noticeable performances.
Girls Kiara Advani and Disha Patani have small roles, but they are looking pretty on screen and have given good performances.
Music is good. The songs ‘Besabriyaan….’ ‘Kaun tujhe yoon pyar karega….’, ‘Jab tak tujhe beintehaan pyar se…’, ‘Fir Kabhi ….’ are melodious.
Certain aspects which has been conveniently skipped without detailing are the controversies attached with Dhoni during his journey, his tiff with some of the senior players, his shrewd decisions to give importance to fitness of the players than their seniority etc.
M. S. Dhoni: The Untold Story hits a smashing Sixer. Sushant Singh Rajput is incredibly convincing and excellent in his role as M. S. Dhoni. Neeraj Pandey has a sure shot blockbuster in his kitty. Sushant’s mannerisms, his strokes, his attitude, his body language, trademark shots etc. clubbed with real footages would make you feel and believe that you are actually watching the real Dhoni on screen. Go and watch this film and relive all those moments of victories and pride which Dhoni has given us.
Rating : 4 / 5 (Very Good)
Cast and Crew Details: Source – Wikipedia Page of the film
Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput (Mahendra Singh Dhoni), Kiara Advani (Sakshi), Disha Patani (Priyanka Jha), Anupam Kher (Pan Singh Dhoni), Bhumika Chawla (Jayanti), Rajesh Sharma (Dhoni’s coach KR Banerjee), Herry Tangri (Yuvraj Singh), Kumud Mishra, Ashrut Jain (Shabbir Hussain), Dhoni’s friends – Kranti Prakash Jha (Santosh), Jitin Gulati, Sandip Nahar and Alok Pandey (Chittu)
Directed by: Neeraj Pandey
Produced by: Arun Pandey, Fox Star Studios
Written by: Neeraj Pandey (Dialogue)
Screenplay by: Neeraj Pandey, Dilip Jha
Story by: Neeraj Pandey, Dilip Jha
Based on: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Cinematography: Santosh Thundiyil
Edited by: Shree Narayan Singh
Music by: Songs – Amaal Mallik, Rochak Kohli; Score – Sanjoy Chowdhary
Production Company: Fox Star Studios, Inspired Entertainment, Friday Film Works
Distributed by: Fox Star Studios
Released on : 30th September, 2016
Duration: 3 hours 10 minutes